What is Mauritania?

Most of us have heard of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Pakistan, and several other popular Muslim countries that frequently appear in the news or come up in our everyday dialogue. But not many Muslims have heard of Mauritania, the Islamic country located on the west coast of Africa where it borders Algeria, the Western Sahara, Mali, and Senegal. With a staggering 100% of the population identifying as Muslim, Islam is the most dominant religion in the country by far. Unfortunately, Mauritania doesn’t come up much on the news nowadays due to its current status as a third world country, which permits it from playing much of a role on a global stage. On August 5th, however, the citizens of Mauritania made a stand that finally brought the country into the spotlight. For years, the government of Mauritania, led by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, has been criticized by the United Nations for its persistence in suppressing protests and silencing the voice of the people. But the voice was finally heard when citizens in Mauritania gathered together in an effort to vote to amend the Constitution of Mauritania. Their changes included adding two red bands to the national flag and putting an end to the Senate. These actions are a breakthrough for citizens in Mauritania and a giant step forward. As young Muslims, it is our duty to stay up to date with our fellow Muslims around the world - especially the ones who we often don’t hear about on the news. These are the Muslims who most often need their brothers and sisters to make dua and stand up for them. Inshallah, Allah will guide the Muslims of Mauritania and aid us in connecting with and helping them.